Social
The Practice Of Buddhist Economics? Another View
Simon Zadek
20/04/2012 06:38 (GMT+7)
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ABSTRACT. The guidance provided by Buddhism about forms of economy is examined, focusing on individual and social aspects of Buddhist practice, rather than a literal readings of the canonical texts. The case of the village-level development organization in Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya Shramadana, illustrates issues concerning Buddhist approaches to organization at the micro level. The impact of the Buddhist institution of the laity supporting monks on economic growth is considered, and the role of material welfare in a Buddhist conception of development. This examination of Buddhism suggests that its practice reveals insights into approaches to economy.

I

The Question

OVER RECENT YEARS there has been an increased interest in the relationship between religion and that most down to earth subject, economics. The reason for this developing debate is in itself of considerable interest, and is certainly relevant here. It concerns the central question of whether we can believe any longer that the secular trajectory of economic development typical of industrialized countries is sustainable over the long, or possibly over the not so long, term. one mirror image of this question is whether role of "religion" or faith, in some shape or form, offers a basis for evolving more effective mechanisms for survival, let alone reasonable levels of well-being, for the majority.

This paper is part of this evolving debate. Its starting point is the able contributions made by Frederic Pryor in this journal about the relationship between economics and Buddhism (1990; 1991). The possibility is explored of taking the debate beyond his focus on the canonical texts into the heartland of Buddhism, into "practice" itself. Indeed, the broad proposition here is that Buddhism offers considerable insight into our economic conditions and practices, but that an appreciation of these insights requires that one takes one's starting point as the "practice, rather than the purely theoretical or ethical aspects of Buddhism.[1]

II

The Practice of Buddhist Economics

PRYOR STATES at the beginning of his first paper ("A Buddhist Economic System-- in Principle") that his "discussion of ideas in the formal Buddhist canonical sources does not tell us anything very specific about

how Buddhism is actually practised today" (1990:340). Pryor maintains this focus in his second paper ("A Buddhist Economic System--in Practice"), despite its declared interest in "practice" rather than "principle" (1991:17). Pryor's work is an important contribution to the field, since it is necessary to explore the literal meaning of original texts with respect to matters of ethics and their possible implications for economic practice.[2] However, this approach also has its limitations. Texts (even "original" ones) are produced in a particular social, political and economic context. Their interpretation therefore needs to take account of both our understanding of that context, and the context in which we find ourselves today. The comments in this paper are therefore an attempt to edge sideways towards such an approach as a contribution to building bridges between the relationship of the texts to economics (as done by Pryor), and some of the day-to-day "realities" of economic and spiritual life. That is, since Buddhism is fundamentally concerned with a set of values realizable only through "practice," let us turn towards the puzzling question of what might be the practice of Buddhist Economics.

III

On Organization

MOST TRADITIONS OF SOCIAL ANALYSIS argue that the well-being of individuals and groups is intimately related to the ethics and rationale of social organization. The Buddha, on the other hand, is often viewed as seeing increased well-being as arising from only individual practice, rather than through the development of particular forms of social organization. Indeed, the Buddha, argues Pryor, "had little concern for society as such and little conviction of its possible improvability" (1991, 20). The implication of this apparent approach has been that the meaning of the "small-scale" philosophy implicit in Buddhist economics (Schumacher, 1973) has remained largely divorced from analysis of larger-scale, modern society.

This divorce is not, however, either necessary or desirable. one route to establishing some relationship between the two is to consider the link between Buddhism and the organization of "community."[3] Chakravarti, for example, argues that the Buddha modelled the Sangha (the orders of the monks) on the ganasangha (Chakravarti, 1992). The ganasangha were one sort of political, territorial "clan" that existed in what is now northern India around the time of the Buddha, about 6th century BC. Two key features of

these clans were that its members exercised a collective power,[4] and held all assets as common property. The organization of decision--making in the Sangha broadly follow the same lines; "no social divisions are recognized-there is the metaphor of people who come, and like the four streams, merge together. Decision is through consensus. You try to accommodate all points of view, but if that fails, then the majority opinion counts" (Chakravarti, 1992:16). This world of the monks is to be contrasted, argued Chakravarti, to the janapadas, the world of the laity.

Decision-making in this lay world was dominated by the kings and the ganapathis (the owners of property who never work for anyone else). Here, decision-making structures were strictly hierarchical, and included little or no process of consultation with the wider populous. It is wrong to conclude, therefore, that the practice of Buddhism does not offer insights into the matter of social organization, even if Pryor is right in arguing that the canonical texts do not suggest that the Buddha advocated one or other form. In particular, the form of social organization of the Sangha described by Chakravarti suggests that communal, non-hierarchical forms of decision-making were seen as offering an aid in discarding the pressures of desires rooted in the Self (ego), and thus an aid to achieving nibbana (nirvana). Thus, while the Buddha saw the process of production (and reproduction) as key elements in the generation of greed and the loss of compassion (Chakravarti, 1992 16), he also saw that the actual structure of decision-making could support or impede a transcendence of these existential shackles. Pryor certainly recognizes this. So, although he insists that the Buddha understood that social conditions could never be fundamentally bettered, he agrees that they "might help or hinder humans in their search for nibbana" (1991 :20).[5] However, Pryor's decision to focus on the texts rather than practice draws him away from exploring this in more detail.

IV

Buddhist Action

THE HISTORICAL ROOTS of the notion of Sangha reflect that Buddhism concerns first and foremost the "practice of being" rather than any "philosophy of becoming." It is, therefore, critically necessary to consider the implications of the Buddhist signposts in today's society. The real achievements of people attempting to act in the imperfect world according to the tenets of Buddhism offer the only meaningful understanding into what Buddhism does or does not contribute to our manner of living. The difficulty of this approach, of course, is that the records are so diverse. The experiences of communities influenced by Buddhism range from the inspirational direction taken by the community of exiled Tibetans through to the role of Buddhist nationalism in the current civil war raging in Sri Lanka (Chapela, 1992). The limits of this paper, and of the author, does not allow for any comprehensive assault on this daunting subject. However, it is possible to offer a simple illustration of how Buddhist principles are applied in pursuit of social transformation.

The illustration draws from the experience of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement ("Sarvodaya") in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya is a community organization working to improve the situation of people in rural areas throughout Sri Lanka (Zadek and Szabo, 1993). Important here is that the philosophy and imagery through which Sarvodaya's aims and approach are articulated are drawn from a combination of Gandhian and Buddhist principles (Ariyaratne, 1985; Macy, 1984). Underpinning Sarvodaya's work is the view that social action and change must seek to achieve spiritual transformations, and so bring forward both compassion and wisdom in people's social relationships, and also in their relationships to themselves and nature (Batchelor and Brown, 1992).

The critical feature of Sarvodaya's method is embodied in its approach to village-level consultation and mobilization. Sarvodaya has evolved a process of decision-making at village level which would in secular "development vocabulary" be called participative decision-making (Chambers, 1992; Max-Neef, 1991). This includes, for example, meetings of the entire village in family gatherings, and the formation of groups within the village (women, youth, elders, etc), who are then encouraged to articulate their own needs and the path by which those needs might be achieved (usually with some technical, organizational or material help from Sarvodaya). That is, the way to break the vicious circle of poverty, loss of dignity, passivity, and ultimately selfish attitudes towards others, has everything to do with the process of decision-making within the community. Where it was possible to create more open and equal dialogue between the members of the community, and sometimes outsiders, this supports a process of growing self-awareness of needs and capacities, a recovering of self-dignity, and ultimately, spiritual development.

The important place of "economic development" in Sarvodaya's work arose from the very real needs of its constituencies in the rural areas of Sri Lanka (Ariyaratne, 1988; van Loon, 1990). The explosion of violence in Sri Lanka from the early 1980s, in particular, further accentuated an already declining economic situation throughout the country, which struck most deeply at the weakest members of the community (Athukorala and Jayasuriya, 1991). At the same time as recognizing this need, Sarvodaya continued to view improvements in material standards of living as instrumental to achieving a broader sense of well-being. However, this perspective, while consistent with the movement's Buddhist beliefs, proved difficult to act out in practice. As the material lacking of village communities became more extreme, Sarvodaya came increasingly under pressure to act in practice more like a service-delivery agency, offering credit, business development advice, etc., rather than attempting to maintain the links between economic and broader spiritual development (Perera et al, 1992; Zadek and Szabo, 1993).

Whether Sarvodaya has been successful in its economic and broader activities is a matter of considerable debate. Some point to the lack of definitive material advancement of its village partners as a sign of failure; others argue that the disruptions caused by the civil war makes such observations of little worth, and that material advancement is in an case not the key indicator of success. This paper, since it is not intended as an evaluation of the organization's work, does not attempt to adjudicate in this debate. However, the paper does illustrate the types of actions and forms of organization that might arise from people rooted in Buddhist perspectives, and the kind of tensions that can built up around such approaches.

V

The Practice of Sarvodaya

IT IS FUNDAMENTAL to Buddhism that "practice" does not only concern external "actions," however laudable, such as those described above.

Practice in Buddhism concerns the matter of one's own level of development, which is then reflected in one's actions, rather than vice versa. It is therefore useful to consider briefly the matter of Sarvodaya's practice as reflected by its own processes of organization and decision-making.

In this context, Chakravarti's description of the traditional organizational forms of the Sangha and the laity is useful. Sarvodaya embodies a curious mixture of both forms. The Sarvodaya model clearly attempts to replicate in some ways the design intended for the Sangha, particularly those aspects that stress the communal basis of decision-making. However, this model was, as we have said, designed with

the community of monks in mind, not the laity. Thus, the model was considered in the context of the separation of monks from the processes of production and reproduction, which is of course precisely not the situation of the village communities with which Sarvodaya is engaged. That is, the Sarvodaya model of village-level decision-making draws its inspiration from the Buddhist texts, but applies it "out of context" in terms of a literal reading of those texts. This should not be taken as a criticism. Rather, it highlights the need to consider the "practice" rather than only the texts of Buddhism when attempting to understand what is its relationship with the very practical world of economics.

What becomes apparent in looking at the decision-making processes in the core of Sarvodaya itself (rather than what happens in the villages with Sarvodaya facilitation), is a lack of what would conventionally be understood as participation or formal consultation. So, for example, although there is a form of family gathering that occurs at the headquarters of Sarvodaya, the deference of the mass of Sarvodaya workers towards its President, Dr Ariyaratne, and senior managers limits the possibility of serious grievances or policy issues being fully aired. More generally, the organization has a hierarchic decision-making structure that enforces the rights of managers at the center to make decisions, without ensuring formalized feedback processes, let alone any constituted rights of Sarvodaya workers to participate in the process of formulating these decisions.

Great care must be taken in analyzing these broad observations to avoid a denigrating caricature, or equally a rose-tinted ideal, to supplant a meaningful analysis of the relationship between the practice of Buddhism and social organization. Two particular approaches have constituted the historical pattern of analysis of Sarvodaya. The first, which is broadly the argument of those within the organization, is that it is the pressures from the international donor community to professionalize and become a "delivery mechanism" for aid that has resulted in this top-down form of decision-making. In this sense, the organization form is seen as a Western transplant that has little or nothing to do with Sri Lanka or Buddhism. There is, indeed, considerable evidence to support this analysis as a partial--but not a complete--explanation (Zadek and Szabo, 1993). International donors have been particularly influential since the early eighties, dominating key processes of organizational change up to the current time.

The second viewpoint, held by many of Sarvodaya's opponents, is that its autocratic form of organization has evolved from the very social structures that it aspires to oppose, and the (ego-based) interests that its Buddhist tenets renounce. There is also some support for this argument. It is clear that traditional patterns of paternalism are at work within the organization. This reflects, rather than opposes, some of the least attractive features of traditional society in Sri Lanka. Certainly this is the case regarding the acceptance of the principal of hierarchy and the place of women within that hierarchy.

A third view, and that held by the author, is that whilst the two preceding views are both valid as partial explanations, a further factor is at play that, while more difficult to describe, needs to be appreciated for any thorough analysis of the relationship between Buddhism, economics, and social organization. This other factor might be referred to as a "state of receptivity," and could be seen within Buddhism as concerning the matter of compassion. It is certainly the case, for example, that Dr Ariyaratne takes many important decisions himself, often without any formal or explicitly structured process of consensus seeking. At the same time, there is no doubt as to his concerns for the rights and wellbeing of villagers, and people at lower levels within Sarvodaya. The question needs to be asked whether it is necessary to consider the importance of a nonstructural variable which concerns the extent to which a person or organization has developed a receptivity towards others, a condition that might be seen to be an aspect of compassion.

This third view would be largely unacceptable to most Western social analysts. A compassion not reflected structurally in institutionalized rights and practices would be seen as paternalistic in the extreme, from these perspectives, and so worthy only of rejection and replacement. At the same time, it is precisely whether such formal structures of democracy really mean that there is real social participation that is increasingly being questioned, particularly in the "newly democratized countries" of Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Furthermore--and almost certainly as a part of this questioning process--there is a steady growth in research geared towards interpretations of communication patterns that do not rely solely on formalized, "tangible" structural relationships (Levin, 1989; Varela et al, 1992). However, although such works are both scholarly and radical attempts to describe these non-structural relationships, they continue to be viewed with some skepticism by those that approach the subject without any engagement in the practice being discussed.

The relationship between Buddhism and social organization cannot be undertaken effectively without some movement of the analysis towards an approach that looks at the practice of those concerned, both in action and, more importantly, within themselves as individuals and as groups. There are problems in interpreting Buddhist-inspired attempts at social organization, such as Sarvodaya, because any real initiative reflects many aspects of society, both good and bad. More important, perhaps, is that the practice of Buddhist economics requires that one move beyond an analysis that focuses only on formal aspects of social relationships, one that looks at the immediate terms of the relationships being considered, which may include aspects that one might call empathy, or receptivity.

VI

Macroeconomic

THIS ANALYSIS OF PRACTICE can be taken forward into an analysis of macroeconomic change. Pryor begins this task through the use of a straightforward macroeconomic model (1991). The more that the laity give to monks, he argues, the less will the economy grow. Furthermore, if reaching nibbana depends on being freed from the conditions of production and reproduction (i.e. requires one to be a monk), then the best strategic approach to pursue in maximizing the number of people in a society that can reach nibbana is to ensure that the economy grows fast. In this way, he concludes, it will be able to support increasing numbers of nibbana-seeking (but otherwise unproductive) monks. There is, in short, a trade-off between some enlightenment now, and more enlightenment in the future.

There is an inclination when faced with a model of this kind to dismiss it for its simplified nature and mechanically-determined conclusions. However, Pryor has clearly (if somewhat brutally) articulated an argument that, partly because it has a distinguished lineage, should be taken seriously (Weber, 1958). There are several ways in which Pryor's proposition can be viewed. Firstly, the argument is empirically non-trivial in that significant proportions of total income are known to be transferred to the temples in Buddhist societies. Suksamran, for example, reports that this proportion can and has been as high as 55% of the total income of some communities in Thailand (1977). Indeed, the widest held view of the impact of Buddhist-infiuenced behavior is, as Ling states, that "surplus material resources are devoted to economically unprofitable ends" (1980-580). It is, however, incorrect to assume that resources transferred to the "monk-sector" should be treated entirely as "consumption." Ebihara, for example, reports that some resources passing through the "monk-sector" in Cambodian peasant society are used to provide social services, such as health care and education, that would likely be made available through another route in a non-Buddhist society (1966). Indeed, traditional development theory supports the view that such "social" expenditures are critical components of long-term investment strategies, a view which could quite easily be incorporated into a somewhat more complex version of Pryor's macroeconomic model (World Bank, 1990). Ebihara continues that a further proportion of such resources flows directly into construction and other economic activities. Such expenditures should also be interpreted differently from straightforward consumption, even if it is temples rather than factories that are being built. Public policy theory acknowledges, for example, the potential significance of public works expenditure on private sector investment decisions and training, apart from the direct multiplier effects.

A somewhat different perspective concerns what Pryor refers to as radiation. Radiation concerns the effect on society of giving resources to the monks, irrespective of its use. Thus, he states, that "Buddhists hold that any appropriate dhammic action inevitably leads to an increase of the material welfare of the community" (1991:18). Pryor offers an interesting although ambiguous, mixture of interpretations of the meaning or root of radiation. First, he quotes Reynolds and Clifford's argument that, "as a result of the monk's pure and selfless actions, the laity flourish" (Reynolds and Clifford, 1980:62), but does not attempt to explain exactly what is meant by this. Next, although he notes that the king legitimizes his position through giving (selflessly) to the monks, he makes no attempt to examine what might be the relationship between this legitimizing process and economic success. Most interesting of all is his reference to Liebenstein's notion of x-efficiency. Liebenstein, it will be recalled by students of economics, developed the notion of x-efficiency to describe a reason for changes in productivity that could not be explained by resort to traditional production functions that treated labor as a determinate input into production. In particular, Liebenstein argued that there was a positive effect on productivity if the "atmosphere" was right, which concerned people's idea of fairness, of being "attended to," and other factors. Most important of all, however, was that his argument with the marginalists was not that this required an additional variable to be added to their production function, but rather that the whole idea of a marginal analysis based on the premise of labor as being a determinate production input was flawed.

It would be fair to say that Liebenstein was from the same tradition as other liberal institutional economists in paving the way towards an opening of microeconomics to management studies. However, of relevance here is that these lessons did not translate into methodological innovations in macroeconomics. Thus, whilst Pryor offers an interesting perspective in raising the analogy of Buddhist radiation and Liebenstein's x-efficiency, his rapid switch to a macroeconomic analysis does not allow him to explore the implications of his insight. To be precise, Liebenstein's point suggests that the economist who is interested in understanding the dynamics of wealth production must consider the determinants of labor productivity not only with respect to changes in the laborcapital ratio (which is essentially the realm in which Pryor has confined his analysis), but also i?' respect to labor itself: That is, the relevant variable becomes a numerator with output per unit of, say, labor time, with a denominator again being some measurement of labor, only this time one that allows for qualitative variation. This was the critical point that Liebenstein was trying to get across, a point consistently misunderstood at the time, and which appears to have been missed, or at least ignored, by many to the current day.

In considering the possible effects of Buddhism on the economic performance of a society, the discussion has concentrated on influences of "Buddhist behavior" on the process of wealth creation. More specifically, it has been assumed that wealth or income is the endogenous variable to be maximized subject to a variety of possible "constraints," particularly the behavioral outcomes of Buddhism. The discussion above has demonstrated that there is far greater ambiguity in the influence of Buddhism on the process of wealth creation even if we assume that this is the sole interest of economics. It is simple to demonstrate, at least within the context of Pryor's model, how Buddhism might have a positive long-run effect on wealth creation through its impact on investment in education, health and other public infrastructure. So, it is as well to lay one particular ghost to rest; there is no necessary reason why the Buddhist practice of Sangha that channels material resources to the monks should slow the process of wealth creation. Whether it does or does not requires careful research, often in areas and with interests not subject, like Liebenstein's x-efficiency, to direct observation let alone quantification. In any case, such work should consider not only the economic fortunes of the Buddhist communities that are economically less industrialized, such as Sri Lanka and Cambodia, but also those which are leaders in the production of material wealth, notably Japan.

VII

Buddhism and Material Welfare

THE FOREGOING DISCUSSION may tell us something about the historical process of economic change and its relationship to institutional forms of Buddhism.

However, it tells us little, arguably, about Buddhist economics. The key to understanding the foundation of Buddhist economics is to understand the place of well-being derived from material possessions in the "practice" of Buddhism. Buddhism acknowledges the need for production and consumption,

and accepts that this involves processes of negotiation, trading, acquisition of capital, and so on. At the same time, Buddhism challenges the individual (and society as a whole) to contextualize these processes in Buddhist values, including for example the idea of Right Thought, Action and Livelihood. Most importantly, economic welfare is seen within Buddhism as being instrumental in achieving spiritual advancement, as Louis van Loon points out in his essay entitled "Why the Buddha did not Preach to the Hungry Man" (1990). Whereas the essence of modernist thinking is to view all pre-capitalist values as instrumental to either enabling or impeding economic growth, Buddhist economics turns this equation on its head and  insists rather that economic development must cohere with Buddhist values.

This Buddhist challenge to modernist thinking has its support from development theory that argues that economic development, in order to be sustainable and meaningful, needs to take account of the value system within which such developments are taking place. Thus, "a non-instrumental treatment of values draws its development goals from within the value system to which living communities still adhere" (Goulet, 1980:484-485). In developing the philosophy and practice of Sarvodaya, Dr Ariyaratne stated that their aim was to catalyze a process of social and economic change at the village and national levels that would be in "harmony with moral and spiritual endi" (1982:48). To achieve this, he continues, it is necessary to recognize that "the economic component of development is but one aspect of development, it is a means to an end, therefore the means adopted should be relevant to the desired ends" (1982 48).

VIII

Concluding Meditations

PRYOR CONCLUDES that Buddhism is most likely to be a constraint to economic performance, unless of course the monks agree with Pryor that rapid economic growth is the most effective route to liberating everyone from production and so setting them on the path to nibbana. Furthermore, although Pryor highlights some of the ethical implications of his reading of Buddhism, he concludes that Buddhism has little insight to offer with regard to matters of social organization.

This paper offers a somewhat different perspective. Firstly, it suggests that Buddhism does offer direction on the critical issue of social organization, as has been illustrated from both the actions and the "practice" of Sarvodaya. At the core of this direction is the importance of self-awareness (mindfulness) as individuals working within a group, and self-awareness of the group itself in terms of its attitude and behavior towards others. This translates most generally into the characteristics of compassion and wisdom, but will have particular forms in different contexts. Secondly, the review of Pryor's macroeconomic analysis suggestsvthat there is no necessary reason for assuming that giving gifts to thevmonks should reduce economic performance, particularly in the long-run.

More importantly, however, is the view that it is a confusion to judge thev"effectiveness" of Buddhism in encouraging economic growth, when thevunderlying tenets of Buddhism placed all (non-subsistence) forms ofveconomic activity as instrumental to other ends.

The relationship between Buddhism and economics is part of a wider debatevconcerning the role of spiritual beliefs in the economic sphere. Thisvdebate in turn is understood as being part of an on-going process ofvquestioning how best to understand and act in this sphere. It can be hopedvthat the participants of these linked debates will continue to contributevwithin the spirit of the subject under consideration; namely, in a mannervthat is sensitized to the guidance offered by Buddhism, or other spiritualvor secular models. This sense, more than anything else, concerns the needvto know the practice rather than the theory of the maps being considered,vand the critical need to contextualize economic activities and ideasvwithin, rather than outside of, such practice.

Notes

[1.] The paper draws its inspiration from Pryor's two articles; from participating in research on Buddhism and economics sponsored by the New Economics Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, as part of a wider exploration of the relationship between economics and the five major religions (Batchelor; 1992); and finally from my engagement with the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement in Sri Lanka, one of the world's largest social and economic development organizations informed directly by the social principles of Buddhism.

[2.] There are, of course, a great number of "original texts" in Buddhism, not all of which are entirely compatible with each other. Pryor has focused on texts from the Theravada tradition in Buddhism, as referred to in his 1991 article.

[3.] The critical intermediary between the individual and the wider society can, of course, be defined in terms of "local community." The very fact that there is a perceived difference between the concepts of community and organization is a matter of considerable interest. Sanodaya, for example, is often criticised in terms of its performance as an organization (e.g. low productivity) on bases that would be applauded if it was understood as a community, e.g. supporting the economically unproductive; see the NEF Working Paper on Sarvodaya for further discussion of this (Szabo and Zadek, 1993).

[4.] This collective decision-making arrangement did not extend to the dasa karmakaras, the servile laborers, who had no access to political power whatsoever Furthermore, Chakravarti argues that there are serious shortcomings in the treatment of the women in the Buddha's vision of organization and social rights, which have largely been carried through to modern treatments of Buddhism (chakravarti, 1992).

[5.] In a more cynical mood, one might consider the distinction between "fundamental" and "helping or hindering" in the light of Keynes' famous saying that "in the long run we are all dead." That is to say, whether or not particular forms of social organization have a 'fundamental' (long run) effect is unclear, but if particular forms "help or hinder" (in the short run), that will do just fine.

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Batchelor, Martine and Kerry Brown, eds., (1992), Buddhism and Ecology, Cassell, London.

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DALE BUMPERS Books By Our Contributing Authors

Johns B. WILLIAMSON and Fred C. Pampel, old-Age Security in Comparative Perspective, (New York and oxford: oxford University Press, 1993). Public old-age security systems of seven countries, Germany, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Nigeria and India are examined in this comparative study of modern social policies. The historical evolution of the programs in each country is set forth and analyzed. Their findings will surprise some students of social welfare systems. Quantitative data from SO countries is subjected to rigorous study.

Mohammed H. I. Dore, The Macrodynamics of Business Cycles: A Comparative Evaluation, (Cambridge, MA Blackwell Publishers, 1992). This quite theoretical book, which could be a useful text for college courses, is fundamental in the sense of attempting to re-orient teaching and thinking from some of the sterility that has infused policy-making on such important matters as the control of the level of functioning of the economy in recent years. But the discussion is formal and not integrated with any thoroughgoing discussion of policy making. Perhaps, in his next book the capable author will pick the fruit from the tree he plants in this one.

American Journal of Economics & Sociology, Vol. 52 No. 4 Oct.1993,Pp.433-445
Copyright by American Journal of Economics & Sociology

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